The Pros and Cons Of An Online Business

The pros and cons of an online business was the first subject a friend and I tackled on our “dress rehearsal” for a new Youtube channel we are building. It’s aimed squarely at the 40-50+ age group although all are welcome. We’ve chosen that demographic A. Because we belong to it and B. Because we are looking to serve people who have done all the self development they need to and have already achieved some level of success in careers or business. They simply want practical information on how to transition to the digital world. They don’t need all the fluff about “the laptop lifestyle”, high falutin’ guff about mindset or irrelevant verbal padding that is often accompanies internet business training.

Before we look at the pros and cons of an online business it’s worth looking at why you would want to. As I write this in April 2021 there are many more reasons than ever before. This pandemic – or rather the measures taken to fight it – has taken a heavy toll on businesses, jobs and careers. Many of those jobs, careers and businesess will never come back. At the same time, for obvious reasons, internet shopping has grown more in a year than it would have in a decade on its pre-covid trajectory.

A Decade’s Growth In A year

We have turned to the internet for more than just, low touch and non essential shopping. We have used it to communicate with friends and family, to educate our children and to work from home. More people than ever have taken their first steps into online business and many established businesses have survived by adapting to online models. In short their has never been a better time to start an internet business. 

On then to the pros and cons of an online business. My friend and I made a list from our own experience in both offline and online business. It has to be said that we both fell the pros far outweigh the cons. Here is our shortlist:

Pros of an online business

RE: Coronavirus concerns – Low touch, safe, environmentally sound, work from home 

Low startup cost compared to trad business: Low overheads, no special premises or equipment needed

Ability to leverage existing products via affiliate marketing, ecommerce.

Global market size with 24/7/365 opening hours. No geographic or time zone barriers 

Lifestyle: Work from home, automation/passive elements, time and location freedom

Near Infinite scaleability 

Cons Of An Online Business

Steep learning curve/overwhelm

Can be solitary 

Like all self employment no guarantees, buck stops with you

Fast changing space meaning keeping on top of trends can be tricky

We will go into each of these topics in much more detail on the channel but the above is a pretty accurate summary of the pros and cons of an online business. In simple terms it is like any other business in that goods and services change hands for money. An internet or virtual business just does it far more efficiently. 

Even before the events of the last year, internet business was growing fast. More and more people were waking up to the fact that we no longer need to work the way our parents and grandparents did. Our growing concerns over climate change and wellness make a lifestyle that doesn’t involve commuting very attractive. 

Getting To The Point

Being able to build a business based on an interest or passion and work at times that suit you used to be an unattainable dream for most of us. The internet makes it a very real, very attainable possibility. But for too long in our opinion, the nuts and bolts of how to do it have been hidden under too much padding with useless fluff. 

If you’ve ever watched a webinar or bought an online course on the subject you’ll know what I mean. You’ve probably found yourself wondering when the presenter or “guru” will GET TO THE POINT! They seem to endlessly frame each subject before actually getting to the meat and potatoes. You can be 4 videos into a ten video course before you’ve learned anything. 

Our aim is to desmistify the process and remove all of the fluff and hyberbole that we have both found annoying in our journey’s from the traditional to the digital. When our Youtube channel is launched (soon) we will be asking our viewers to email the questions they want answered. Meantime, if you have found this brief look at the pros and cons of an online business useful you can do that in the comments below.